Media coverage of Stephen Wise Free Synagogue has included feature articles and highlights in the many local, national and international news outlets. Below is some select coverage that highlight the synagogue.
Makor Rishon (Hebrew): ‘There is fear among the Reform rabbis. They are afraid to speak for Israel.’
Jul 27, 2021
After nearly 100 Reform and Conservative rabbinical and cantorial students signed a letter accusing Israel of apartheid, our Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch told Makor Rishon: “The Reform movement must see itself as a Zionist movement that supports Israel, and the education it provides and all its policies must reflect these values.”
The Forward: Morrie Arnovich, not Jacob Steinmetz, was baseball’s first Orthodox player
Jul 26, 2021
When the media overlooked the first Orthodox Jewish baseball player, Morrie Arnovich, our Cantor Dan Singer set the record straight about one of his hometown heroes and shared some of Superior, Wisconsin’s rich history in an article he wrote for The Forward.
NY Jewish Week: Doris Brickner, Activist and Founder of Jewish Organizations, Dies at 99
Jul 7, 2021
Doris Brickner, who was the wife of Stephen Wise Free Synagogue’s late Rabbi Emeritus Balfour Brickner z”l, died June 29, a month shy of her 100 birthday.
The Jerusalem Post: Will the Kotel Deal Repair the Divide?
Jun 22, 2021
In an op-ed about Israel’s efforts to repair the relationship with diaspora Jewry, Rabbi David Eliezrie mentioned our Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch’s recent piece about the tension between universalism and Jewish peoplehood that’s been present in the Reform movement since its inception.
The Jerusalem Post: Over 300 US rabbis from multiple denominations come together for Israel
May 28, 2021
Over 300 American rabbis from multiple denominations — including our Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch — signed a letter decrying the anti-Israel sentiments currently being voiced in some Jewish communities across the U.S. “Parts of the Jewish community that are cool on Israel, that are distancing [themselves] from Israel, that are non- Zionist and anti-Zionist are becoming more vocal,” said Rabbi Hirsch. “If they are successful, it will harm Israel, but, mostly, it will harm the future of American Jewry.”
The Jerusalem Post: The fracturing of liberal Judaism over Jewish particularism
May 27, 2021
“The growing inclination among liberal Jews to deemphasize Jewish distinctiveness is the gravest threat to the future of liberal Judaism,” writes our Rabbi Hirsch in The Jerusalem Post. “Are we anchored in Jewish particularism or are we Kantian universalists who pray in Hebrew? Audacious honesty requires that we press Reform Jews: Are you committed to the Jewish nation – and what does that mean to you?”
West Side Rag: Enrollment Opens For In-Person And Virtual Hebrew School Classes At Stephen Wise Free Synagogue
Apr 30, 2021
When Stephen Wise Free Synagogue had to close its physical doors in March of 2020 due to COVID-19, like so many other schools its Religious School went online. But unlike most others, in fall 2020, Stephen Wise’s school gave students the choice to return to a hybrid model of in-person learning and remote Hebrew lessons or continue fully remotely.
West Side Rag: The New World of Religious Worship on the UWS
Apr 27, 2021
As we move closer to post-pandemic life, Upper West Side religious institutions are busy making plans to reopen for in-person worship and events, with COVID-19 safety precautions in place. In fact, some, like our Stephen Wise Free Synagogue, have already been open for months. What do in-person religious services and events on the Upper West Side look like in the spring of 2021?
The Forward: How good it is to sit together: Why we re-opened our religious school during the pandemic
Apr 7, 2021
“When we decided last spring to give all of our religious school students the option to attend in person, I’m pretty sure most people thought it was a pipe dream — and a risky one at that,” writes our Rabbi Rena Rifkin in the Forward. “Nothing beats sitting in a room together. Learning builds community. Physical togetherness builds community.”
The Jerusalem Post: We must stop enabling haredi domination of religion and state
Mar 11, 2021
“Decades of excessive political power have corrupted the values of those who claim to be most loyal to Jewish values,” writes our Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch, addressing ultra-Orthodox pushback to Israel’s recognition of non-Orthodox conversions. “It is distressing that the American-Jewish establishment has been largely silent. Most of your supporters and most of your financing come from the non-Orthodox community. You cannot sit this out. If our bond with Israel deteriorates further, it will weaken all of us.”